Wednesday, May 23, 2012

NEXT LEVEL

A couple bands stepping things up to the next level with new albums. Beach House have been really good for a while, but their new album "Bloom" shows them continuing to get better. Honestly, I would've guessed that they would plateau by now, it was hard for me to envision them growing within the confines of how they were set up, Victoria Legrand's smoky vocals and organ and Alex Scally playing pretty much everything else. But they continue to write great songs and the hooks get stronger on each album. "Bloom" is their best one yet, the most immediately catchy one too, and the best produced, rich and vibrant. Favorite track so far: "other people".

Stepping it up even higher is Bear in Heaven on their new album "I love you, it's cool". I've listened to and liked the other albums by these guys but the new album is a huge leap forward, much better produced and overall stronger song-writing and clearer in its vision. Sounds at times to me like the first Verve album (before they were The Verve), or a more aggressive Sigur Ros. Actually it's a weird album in that I've talked to people about it and I've had friends say that they put it on to chill out to, but I like it when I'm driving or walking around, it's got a kind of vibrancy and energy, but it's not overwhelming. Maybe like the caffeine buzz from tea versus coffee. That analogy work? 

Also, not on the stepping it up tip, but check out Forma, another Brooklyn band. I think it's 3 guys on keyboards, all instrumental, kind of the Boards of Canada tip, very cool, on Spotify.


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